IF the Duchess of Sussex thinks she has a future in publishing, she’ll have to do a lot better than the new edition of Vogue magazine that she has just produced.
For achingly ‘woke’ Meghan has created a magazine that is about as exciting as an earnest lecture from the Temperance League.
Worse, in openly revealing her lefty politics and using her royal status to spread the gospel of celebrity socialism, the Duchess has undermined one of the fundamental principles of the monarchy – that they are apolitical.
The centrepiece of the former Ms Markle’s Vogue edition is a selection of 15 women whom she hails as “forces for change.”
With a few exceptions – like the legendary actress Jane Fonda and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – they seem to have been picked more for their progressive opinions, their ethnicity or their celebrity connections than for any real achievements.
The list is packed with more virtue-signalling than a report from Islington Council’s women’s committee.
The list could have been drawn up by Jeremy Corbyn
Few of them are household names in this country. There is no room for the Queen, surely one of the greatest female heroines in history, having become our longest serving, most dutiful monarch.
Nor is there space for the actress Judi Dench or the writer Hilary Mantel or the athlete Kelly Holmes.
Adwoa Aboah made the list of Meghan’s inspirational women[/caption]
But there is a place for the little known model Adwoa Aboah, who has links to the aristocracy and is a mental health campaigner.
Others among the chosen few include the actress and anti-racism advocate Gemma Chan, the American transgender activist Laverne Cox, and the Somali boxer Ramla Ali.
Inevitably, Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish climate change lobbyist and Queen of eco doom, also features on the panel.
Like Ms Markle herself – who still has chance to redeem herself with the adoring British public – Thunberg plans to gain acceptance for her right-on policies by boring us all into submission with her earnestness.
The list could easily have been drawn up by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, a fact that apparently reflects the talented Duchess’s own politics.
In American entertainment, being “woke” – code for socially and racially aware – is almost compulsory for professionals.
As an actress in the TV drama Suits, Meghan Markle signed up fully to the dominant creed, strongly supporting Hillary Clinton and denouncing Trump as “divisive” and “misogynistic.”
Even on her entry into the Royal Family, she has kept up the radical drumbeat. At one recent event in London, she declared, “If things are wrong and there is a lack of justice and inequality, then someone needs to say something. And why not me?”
The reason why not, Meghan, is because you are a senior member of the Royal Family. –
The whole point of Britain’s constitutional system is that the monarchy is above the fray of party strife. Strict neutrality – reflected so admirably by the Queen herself – has been the key to both the Crown’s survival and its popularity.
Meghan’s deluded – she will damage the throne
The few times in our democratic age when the sovereign has taken sides have usually ended up damaging the throne.
One was in the late 19th century, when Queen Victoria was excessively partisan against the Liberals, especially over Irish Home Rule and the reform of the House of Lords. Another was in the late 1930s, when George VI became a cheerleader for the disastrous policy of appeasement, even sharing a balcony with Neville Chamberlain on his return from the notorious Munich Conference.
Meghan Markle’s defenders would no doubt argue that her favourite causes are humanitarian not political. But that is a delusion.
Much of the “woke” social justice programme is bitterly controversial. Greta Thunberg’s environmental demands, for instance, involve a global revolution, colossal taxation and the reinvention of energy supplies.
The monarchy is meant to unite the nation, not divide it
Similarly, the transgender lobby is not some cosy, generous-hearted movement but rather a highly contentious topic which some campaigners argue represents a profound attack on women’s rights and biological science.
So when she takes up the progressive banner with Vogue, or openly snubs the President – as she did on his recent state visit to Britain – she is entering the incendiary political fray, precisely what the monarchy is meant to avoid.
The leading royals are meant to be ceremonial figures who can unite the nation, not partisan operators who divide it.
Meghan Markle should learn a lesson from the Duchess of Cambridge, who performs her public role brilliantly without giving any indication of her personal political stance.
A dig at Kate
Such a lack of any bias has not stopped Kate from championing her own favourite causes, like mental health, the arts, or female participation in sport. And she always brings an elegance to the performance of her duties, which is why it was so regrettable that Vogue editor Edward Enninful said it would have been “boastful” for Ms Markle to put herself on the cover of her edition.
That sounded like a dig at Kate, who appeared on the cover of Vogue’s centenary edition in June 2016.
There is still time for the Duchess of Sussex to rectify this. After all, she is obviously a woman of talent, determination and ambition, as she showed in her successful acting career.
Moreover, she still enjoys a tremendous amount of goodwill from the British public, which delighted in her wedding to Prince Harry last year and the birth of Archie this year.
But she has to grasp the fundamental point that she cannot always have it both ways.
She cannot be both a member of the Royal family and a left-wing political campaigner, just as she cannot demand privacy on her terms while exploiting her status when it suits her.
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Publicity is not a tap that can be switched on and off at a whim.
She must be careful that her quest for so-called social justice doesn’t spell the road to ruin for her as a royal – it would be a terrible shame.